Will Edgar’s “Rocky” Story continue??
Lightweight Championship bout: Frankie Edgar vs. Ben Henderson- Edgar’s “Rocky” story has been a great one from the beginning. Not only did he rewrite it from the beginning by beating his Apollo Creed (Bj Penn) twice but he also had wars with Gray “Clubba Lang” Maynard lol. Ben “Smooth” Henderson lives in my home town of Arizona and trains out of Glendale and a lot of people think we could be looking at the new champion after Saturday. Can Henderson end the “Rocky” story? Not only do I think this fight is going to be FOTN (fight of the night) but I don’t think this fight is going to decision. This is the hardest fight for me to pick but that’s my job. Henderson is going to be stronger, I give him the wrestling edge and the submission edge. I give Edgar the edge in speed, hands and striking. The big key is Henderson’s training partners. He won his last fight against Clay Guida because he had some of the best mimics helping him prepare and will be doing the same for the Edgar fight. How well can someone mimic Edgar? That is the real question. It’s very hard to bet against Edgar but I have to go with my hometown boy. I’m taking Ben Henderson by a 4th round choke to become the new Lightweight Champion.
Light Heavyweight bout: Quinton Jackson vs. Ryan Bader- This is a big fight becasue Rampage returns to Japan. Bader is another fighter out of my hometown and is a nice guy but this one is easier to call in my opinion. Bader has heavy hands, Rampage has a strong chin, Bader will try and wrestle, Rampage doesn’t get out wreslted unless your Jon Jones and Bader is not. Hands will fly and the Japan fans will see the knock out of the night. Rampage 2nd round knock out.
Heavyweight bout: Mark Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo- Both of these guys can strike but who can take a better punch? Does Hunt hit harded than Pat Barry? Let me answer those questions for you. Hunt can take a better punch and can hit harder than Barry, plus Hunt has a ground game. Hunt will hit Kongo harder than Frank Mir did and get this to the ground. Hunt 2nd round tko or submission.
Welterweight bout: Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Jake Shields- Akiyama’s debut at welterweight could be good or really bad. If Shields can get this to the ground and “lay and prey” he will be fine but if he gets hit like he did in the Ellenberger fight, then it’s night night time. I think Shields has a great chin (Look at his fight with Dan Henderson) and can take a punch but showed different in his last fight. Ellenberger is no joke so I’m not taking anything away from him but are you saying that Ellenberger hits harder than Hendo? I guess so. I don’t think fighting in Japan is going to make a difference for Akiyama but you never know. I’m going to keep it safe and take Shields by Unanimous decision in a possible snooze fest.
Middleweight bout: Yushin Okami vs. Tim Boetsch- Boetsch has been the bigger fighter ever since dropping down to 185 but not in this fight. Yushin Okami has a great chin, wrestling/ground and pound and great heart. We saw none of that in his loss to Anderson Silva. So will the old Okami be back or is he done? This fight will be the true test. Boetsch will try and wrestle Okami after his wild punches won’t work and get frustrated after he can’t get him to the ground. Yushin will be too big and Boetsch’s toughest opponent to date, if the real Yushin shows up. Yushin by Unanimous
Featherweight bout: Hatsu Hioki vs. Bart Palaszewski- Hioki was no joke in other organizations and in my opinion is a joke in the UFC. They want him to be #1 contender and I just don’t see it. He looked horrible in the George Roop fight and I still think Roop won that fight. Palaszewski is ready for a war and has warned Hioki if he wants to strike like he did in the Roop fight, then it will be a short night for him. I’m going a little personal in this fight (which you NEVER do) but oh well. I do believe in my pick though. Bart 1st round KO.
Lightweight bout: Anthony Pettis vs. Joe Lauzon- I am so excited for this fight!!! Lauzon thinks if he wins this fight that he will get offered the #1 contender spot for the lightweight title after the Edgar/Henderson fight. So he will be fighting with extra purpose on Saturday. They both agreed to this fight months ago and Pettis waitied for Lauzon, so maybe Pettis knows something we don’t. This fight could go either way. Both can strike, wrestle and both have good ground games. Lauzon has awesome submissions and ground work and Pettis has the most underated ground game in the division in my opinion. I think Pettis will be able to make this his fight and walk out with a Split decision in what could also be FOTN. Pettis Split decision or 2nd round tko.
Preliminary card (FX)
Lightweight bout: Takanori Gomi vs. Eiji Mitsuoka- Will Gomi lose and receive his papers? Gomi just looks for his right hand knock out but will that be enough? Mitsuoka isn’t new to the sport and will be looking for a huge win. I have to stick with the favorite and go with Gomi 1st or 2nd round tko/ko.
Bantamweight bout: Norifumi Yamamoto vs. Vaughan Lee- Kid Yamamoto hasn’t looked that good since entering the UFC and will be fighting for his job. Lee is new and should get out worked. Yamamoto Unanimous.
Preliminary card (Facebook)
Featherweight bout: Zhang Tiequan vs. Issei Tamura- Wrestler vs Submission artist usually makes it a striking war. Tamura is taking this fight on short notice after Leonard Garcia got hurt, then Nam Phan got injured. I think Tamura will smother Tiequan and be able to escape his submissions. Tamura Unanimious.
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